CBS, Super Bowl advertisers may be rooting against Colts

January 22, 2010
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There’s a lot of uncertainty heading into Sunday’s NFC and AFC championship games.

But one thing is certain. Officials for CBS and TV advertisers during this year’s Super Bowl will be rooting heartily for the Minnesota Vikings. Or at least they should be.

Whether those same TV executives and advertisers are rooting for the Indianapolis Colts is less clear.
 
There’s a strong contingent of TV experts who think the best Super Bowl match-up—purely from a ratings standpoint—this year would be Minnesota vs. New York Jets.

“With the Jets, you’d have the entire New York market, the largest media market in the world, covered, and no one draws national attention like Brett Favre,” a CBS official told me this morning.

Well, you can’t argue the Favre factor. In a season where the NFL has earned its highest season-long TV ratings since 1990, the purple-clad man from Mississippi has led the way.

The average NFL regular season game, according to New York-based Nielsen Media Research, was watched by 16.6 million people, 2 million more than last year. Favre played in two of the top four most watched games this year. Yes, both were against his old team, Green Bay, but still, you can’t deny his allure.

The Vikings-Packers game Nov. 1 drew 29.8 million viewers, tops this year. That game drew more viewers than any other fall broadcast. The Vikes-Pack game Nov. 30 on ESPN, drew 21.8 million viewers, the most watched cable broadcast ever.

The Favre factor is nothing new. The 1997 and 1998 Super Bowls—the two Favre played in—had TV ratings of 43.3 and 44.5 respectively. Each rating point equals 1.1 million TV households.

For comparison’s sake, last year’s Super Bowl earned a 42.0 rating, and the year before, featuring two huge media markets in New York and New England, notched a 43.1 rating.

So you can see, Favre rocks ratings. And given his many retirements and team changes, he probably would draw even more this year than in previous years.

But what about Peyton Manning? After all, the 2007 Super Bowl featuring the Colts and Bears earned a 42.6 TV rating.
 
“You can’t discount his star power,” my source at CBS said. He added that the game was bolstered by the size of the Chicago market and the Bears' following nationwide.

“Indianapolis is the 30th largest media market. And for sheer numbers, it just doesn’t hold a candle to New York,” my network source said. "I’m just saying it’s difficult to beat, from a ratings perspective, the drawing power of Favre, and the sheer size of New York.”

Of course, not everyone agrees.

“A match between Peyton Manning and Favre would feature two of the highest-profile quarterbacks ever,” Neal Pilson, former CBS Sports president told the Chicago Sun-Times. “So, if I were rooting for the highest-rated game, my vote goes to Indianapolis-Minnesota.”

With the average price of a 30-second spot this year sitting at $3 million, there’s plenty at stake for CBS and its advertisers. High ratings sometimes trigger escalator clauses in ad deals. It’s hard to believe that in 1990, a 30-second Super Bowl spot cost $700,000.

Those high ratings certainly help the NFL when negotiating its next TV deal. And high historical ratings also helps the network pushing those pricey ad spots.

 

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  • Two scenarios to consider
    There are two dramas that could be written on Sunday. Peyton Manning playing in the Super Bowl against his dad's former team; and Brett Favre playing against his own former team. A Jets-Saints matchup just isn't that sexy, is it? Colts by 13; Vikings by 9.
  • SB ratings
    Since 70% of the population wacthes the Superbowl, I do not think a bias would exist based on ratings. Now if this were the NBA, you might have a valid point. If a bias is against the Colts it is because the media is based on the east coast and they hate fly over country.
  • Manning VS Favre
    Hard to believe a Manning VS Favre Super Bowl would not be a ratings bonanza. Most non-football fans are familiar with the two and you know the game would be exciting.
  • What about Brees?
    What about Peyton Manning against his dad's old team, the Saints, led by Drew Brees and their high-powered offense. I really don't think CBS can go wrong.
  • re:SB ratings
    The super bowl attracts about 70% of the sets-in-use at the time, which usually comes out to be about 30% of the total population.

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  1. Now if he'd just stay there...

  2. Daniel - what about the many US citizens who do NOT follow what the Bible teaches? The Hindus, Jews, Muslims and others who are all American citizens entitled to all rights as Americans?? This issue has NOTHING to do with "What the Bible says..." Keep all Churches separate from State! Pence's ongoing idiocy continues to make Indiana look like a backwards, homophobic state in the eyes of our nation. Can't we move on to bigger issues - like educating our kids?

  3. 1. IBJ should link to the referenced report. We are in the age of electronic media...not sharing information is lazy. Here is a link http://www.in.gov/gov/files/Blue_Ribbon_Panel_Report_July_9_2014.pdf 2. The article should provide more clarity about the make-up of this panel. The commenters are making this item out to be partisan, it does not appear the panel is partisan. Here is a list of the panel which appears to be balanced with different SME to add different perspectives http://www.in.gov/activecalendar/EventList.aspx?view=EventDetails&eventidn=138116?formation_id=189603 3. It suggests a by-pass, I do not see where this report suggests another "loop". 4. Henry, based on your kneejerk reaction, we would be better off if you moved to another state unless your post was meant as sarcasm in which case I say Well Done. 5. The article and report actually indicates need to improve rail and port infrastructure in direct contradiction to Shayla commentary. Specifically, recommendation is to consider passenger rail projects... 6. People have a voice with their elected officials. These are suggestions and do not represent "crony capitalism", etc. The report needs to be analyzed and the legislature can decide on priorities and spending. Don't like it, then vote in a new legislature but quit artificially creating issues where there are none! People need to sift through the politics and provide constructive criticism to the process rather than making uninformed comments in a public forum based on misinformation. IBJ should work harder to correct the record in these forums when blatant errors or misrepresentations are made.

  4. Joe ... Marriage is defined in the Bible ... it is mentioned in the Bible often. Marriage is not mentioned once in the US or Indiana Constitution ...

  5. Daniel - Educate me please: what does the Bible have to do with laws? If the government wasn't in the business of marriage to begin with, then it wouldn't have to "define" marriage at all. Marriage could be left as a personal, religious, or otherwise unregulated action, with no ties to taxes, legal status, etc. Then people could marry whomever they want, and all this silliness would go away. Remember to vote Libertarian in November.

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